I believe everyone should grow at least a few herbs at home. Few things have been as rewarding to me as commandeering a strip of land in my yard and devoting it to a little git of gardening. I started small, so it wouldn’t be overwhelming, but I have since really been able to reap the benefits of my own herb garden. Aside from the calming effect of tending to an herb garden already, many herbs have a use beyond food flavoring and spice, many have a medicinal value and are great to have around the home. With school season starting, I know a few of us are going to be feeling a little under the weather be it from a cold and cough, or a bee sting (some kids just HAVE to poke bees on the playground, don’t they?)
Even if you live in an apartment or share a small space, you can have a couple of pots on your porch where you can grow your own choice of herbs. The information is out there on different uses for your choice herbs, but I have found these four to be the easiest to grow and some of the most beneficial. The top four I recommend growing for yourself, because of the variety of uses are peppermint, sage, thyme, and lemon balm. These four herbs give you the ability to treat colds and coughs, sore throats, cold sores, nausea and diarrhea, upset stomachs, gas, anxiety, insomnia, colic, bug bites, minor wounds, oral thrush and even menopausal hot flashes and night sweats! Tending to your very own herb garden is a small investment for so many diverse uses!
Here are 4 herbs to help you start
your own medicinal herb garden
Peppermint is an awesome herb that smells absolutely wonderful. Peppermint oils can be used as a chest rub to ease breathing with common cold, or an addition to a steamy bath, as a tea for relief of heartburn, indigestion, and nausea, treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, help with diverticular disease and helping to manage other chronic intestinal ailments. Who knew!? Studies have shown that it kills bacteria and viruses. It also has a calming and numbing effect. It dulls the pain of an aching body. Peppermint also can be helpful in clearing up various skin related issues like hives, rashes, poison oak or poison ivy.
Sage is one of my favorite flavors to add to any savory meal, but did you know it has has been used traditionally to address symptoms of sore throats (try drinking sage tea), and is effective when used in steam inhalation for respiratory problems, including bronchitis, congestion and sinusitis? When combined with Thyme, it makes a great tea, that helps with controlling a cough (recipe below). I have used this numerous times to help my daughter go to sleep and it does work almost, if not more effectively than OTC cough medicines, and it doesn’t have any of the icky side effects. Whoa, that is pretty impressive if you ask me. Sage has also been approved in Germany for those troubled by excessive perspiration, as herbalists commonly recommend sage for menopausal women troubled with night sweats.
Thyme is a great herb to consider when fighting off a cold. It is approved in Europe for use in upper respiratory infections and it’s also effective against oral thrush. It’s a common remedy for stomach ailments, lung congestion, coughing ailments and overall flu conditions. Thyme contains many important essential oils, which are found to have anti-septic and anti-fungal applications. Thyme tea, when with sage or alone, can help relieve coughs, sore throat, and bronchitis symptoms, as well as using its antiseptic properties to possibly help with gingivitis when used as a mouth rinse! Talk about versatility! Thyme can cure styes and can help with pink eye. It cleans scrapes and cuts immediately with its antiseptic and disinfectant proper tie, treats women with menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms also.
Since most disease comes from an overload of stress, consider lemon balm your saving grace. Lemon Balm is a fantastic stress-reducer. Lemon balm is a calming herb that helps ease pain, promotes good sleep and can give someone their appetite back if they have lost it. It can also treat some venomous insect bites and stings, which seem to always plague my household! Applying a lip balm containing 1% lemon balm extract seems to shorten healing time, prevent infection from spreading, and reduce symptoms of recurring cold sores. Lemon balm oil has a high degree of antibacterial properties and has shown some pretty adequate activity against a host of problems including staph in clinical studies! A few studies have even found that lemon balm may help improve cognitive function and decrease agitation in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
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All Natural Cough-Control Tea Recipe
1. Pour hot water over 2-3 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sage, and 1/2 teaspoon thyme. (Dried or fresh herbs can be used.)
2. Steep the mixture for 15 minutes
3. Strain tea, then add 1-2 tablespoons Organic honey.
4. Drink two to three cups daily for cough relief.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ZarBee’s. The opinions and text are all mine.